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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Association of mu-opioid receptor subunit gene and idiopathic generalized epilepsy.

OBJECTIVE: To replicate and extend the previously reported association between the opioid receptor mu subunit gene (OPRM1) and idiopathic absence epilepsy (IAE), using a sample of 230 probands with idiopathic generalized epilepsy (IGE). BACKGROUND: In humans and in animal models, several lines of evidence implicate opioid receptors with seizures. The G118 allele of OPRM1 was associated with IAE (p = 0.019). METHODS: Three single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNP) of OPRM1 were investigated by association studies with IGE using a case/control design, one of which also used a within-family design. RESULTS: Association was found for G118 with IGE (p = 0.00027, odds ratio [OR] = 1.86), replicating the previous association. Within-family tests of linkage and association (haplotype-based haplotype relative risk and transmission disequilibrium test) confirmed this result. Further evidence for involvement of OPRM1 in IGE was provided by an association with G-172T, located in the 5' untranslated region (p = 0.0015, OR = 2.36). Haplotypes of the two SNPs were associated with IGE with a greater level of significance (p = 0.000087) suggesting that both SNPs might be in linkage disequilibrium with a single functional variant. Analysis of the results by subgroups of IGE showed association with all subgroups tested. CONCLUSIONS: These results confirm the previous association and support the hypothesis of a role for OPRM1 in IGE, including absence syndromes. However, the authors found no evidence for a specific association between OPRM1 and idiopathic absence epilepsy. The data suggest that the functional variant predisposing to IGE is located within 60kb of exon 1.[1]


  1. Association of mu-opioid receptor subunit gene and idiopathic generalized epilepsy. Wilkie, H., Osei-Lah, A., Chioza, B., Nashef, L., McCormick, D., Asherson, P., Makoff, A.J. Neurology (2002) [Pubmed]
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